Black Sheep Adventure Sports’ Annual Skiers’ Gift Guide
We sat our crack team of backcountry equipment experts down and came up with five great Christmas gift ideas to help you with your shopping. Some of these products are really cool and new while others are innovative or just fun. But all of them would make a great gift for a backcountry enthusiast.
Mammut Barryvox S Transceiver:
When heading out into avalanche terrain a high quality, triple antenna transceiver is paramount. Older, out-of-date units are not nearly as efficient and effective when it comes to finding a buried partner. And, as well all know, the sooner someone is uncovered the better their chance of survival. So, with that in mind, a new transceiver makes a great gift for anyone looking to get into the backcountry or who has an older unit. And if you’re getting someone a new transceiver, you might as well get them the best-of-the-best: Mammut’s Barryvox S! It was a big step forward in transceiver tech when it was first released last year and is still the fastest unit I’ve tested. Intuitive and easy to use, it’s ideal for anyone from snow safety professionals to backcountry enthusiasts with different software settings for different experience levels.
Patagonia Capaline Air Base Layers:
To makes these base layers Patagonia takes a blend of merino wool (51%) and recycled Capilene polyester (49%) and blasts it with a high pressure air jet. This creates some lightweight, lofted yarns that are then woven in a seamless 3D structure to create a range of warm baselayers for men and women. Because the garments are woven as a single piece there are no seams or stitching to fall apart or chafe while the loose weave allows it to stretch and move with the body. Of course, as a merino-polyester blend the Capilene Air baselayers wick sweat away from the body and are reasonably durable and stink free. The gift of warmth and comfort!
CAMP Sky Carbon Evo Ski Poles:
CAMP introduced a number of new poles this year including several lightweight options that can be collapsed in a Z-shape to a compact 36cm length. This is ideal for split-boarders as they’ll stow their poles on their pack for the ride down. One of particular interest is the new Sky Carbon Evo. These poles are designed using carbon fiber on the upper segments and aluminum alloy on the bottom. This saves weight without sacrificing durability and strength. Other features include both summer and winter powder baskets, carbide tips and soft foam grips with wrist straps. A great, year-round split boarding, climbing and trekking pole with an innovative design.
weBoost Drive Reach Cell Booster
I like to come up with a few outside the box ideas every year and this particular gift definitely qualifies. And just because someone likes to spend time in the backcountry doesn’t mean they want to be out of touch. And many great areas are just outside cell phone coverage. But they don’t have to be! The Drive Reach is weBoost’s most powerful 4G cell phone signal booster. It enhances cellphone signals wirelessly with a powerful 29.5 dBm in uplink-output power and can be used by multiple phones simultaneously. And while it’s designed to go in a vehicle I’ve used it in my camper and even took it to a remote ski touring lodge where it was able to squeeze a few bars out of the ether. A unique gift idea that’s sure to please anyone that loves to stay in touch.
Avalanche Safety Training
I’m a firm believer that everyone in the backcountry should take a course or training session every year. It helps to get one’s mind back in the game after a long summer, hones the companion rescue skills and there’s always something new to learn. I work in the avalanche industry as a forecaster and a guide and do about 10 days of training every winter to keep me up-to-date and sharp.
Normally I would insert a shameless plug for one of my avalanche courses here but they’re basically all filled except for 2 spots on a New Years’ AST 2 (it’s based out of Journeyman Lodge near Whistler, BC. so jump on it if you’re keen!). Ok, plug inserted. Alternatively you find a course near you that’s run by an certified operator, there are generally lots of options this time of year.
Well that’s all we have for Christmas 2019! If you haven’t already, check out some of our other gift guides and have a great holiday season!